Steinitz in Amona: 'I'll work to avert tragedy'

Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz visits Amona; 'It's unthinkable to simply evacuate entire towns for judicial reasons'.

Eliran Aharon ,

Steinitz in Amona
Steinitz in Amona
Photo: Eliran Aharon

Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz expressed staunch opposition to the evacuation of the Samarian community of Amona during a visit there today (Tuesday). Steinitz spoke to local leaders about the fight against the planned evacuation and possible legal solutions.

Accompanying the Minister on the visit were Likud National Camp co-Chair Shevach Stern and Natan Englesman, Yesha Council Chairman Avi Roeh, Amona leaders, and Infrastructure Ministry representatives. 

"It's unthinkable to evacuate whole towns because of judicial considerations which would never, under any circumstance, apply to Tel Aviv or Haifa," said Steinitz, "You can't evacuate or destroy an area just because someone says it belongs to him. Only in a case where ownership is proven conclusively should anything be done, and even then it should only be in the form of monetary compensation" 

Steinitz promised, "I will act in every legal and logical way to prevent the unnecessary tragedy of the evacuation of Amona in the coming months or years." 

Shevach Stern, Chairman of the Likud National Camp said that Minister Steinitz's visit in the area accomplishes two goals. "The first goal is to promote the saving of Amona in the government. As the man who chaired the Knesset's committee investigating the [previous] Amona incidents [referring to the 2006 evacuation] and knows the subject well, Minister Steinitz has exactly the right talents and capabilities to bring about a good solution."

"The second goal is returning the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria to a fully operational state long-term. As Infrastructure Minister, Steinitz must use all of his abilities and influence to bring this about." 

Amona, which is slated for evacuation by year’s end, was the site of a violent confrontation between security forces and demonstrators in February 2006, after a Supreme Court order for the demolition of nine homes. Over 300 people were wounded in the evacuation, most of them peaceful protesters.